Convicted murderer, infamous for 2013 helicopter prison break, to serve longest sentence in Quebec history
Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, a former Hells Angels associate, will serve 35 years without chance of parole
A 41-year-old man convicted of two killings, and who once escaped from a Quebec prison in a helicopter, has received the longest sentence in the province's history.
Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau had ties to the Hells Angels. He was convicted in November of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and two attempted murders.
He was sentenced to serve life in prison without chance of parole for 35 years at the Saint-Jérôme courthouse Wednesday morning.
During the trial, Crown prosecutors argued that Hudon-Barbeau used a hitman named Ryan Wolfson to carry out the attacks.
One of the incidents involved a 2012 shootout at the home of Vincent Pietrantonio in Ste-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson, Que. Pietrantonio was injured in the altercation but Fréderick Murdock, identified as Pietrantonio's bodyguard, was killed in the altercation.
Hudon-Barbeau was also involved in the murder of Pierre-Paul Fortier, who was shot to death behind a hotel in St-Sauveur a few days after the shootout in Ste-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson.
A risk to society
In sentencing arguments, Crown prosecutors argued that Hudon-Barbeau posed a risk to society and should be given a separate sentence for each murder. That would mean serving 50 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper changed the criminal code in 2011, making it possible for judges to sentence people who have killed more than one person to serve their sentences consecutively.
Notably, Justin Bourque is serving 75 years in prison after killing three RCMP officers in Moncton, N.B., in 2014.
Hudon-Barbeau is already serving a 16-year sentence on charges related to his dramatic escape in 2013 from a Saint-Jérôme detention centre.
Two accomplices hijacked a helicopter and forced its pilot to fly to the jail, allowing Hudon-Barbeau and another inmate to climb on board.
At the time of his escape, Hudon-Barbeau was serving time for gun possession. He was accused of participating in a series of crimes in the province's Laurentians region in the fall of 2012 relating to a drug turf war.
Since his capture, Hudon-Barbeau has been held at a high-security facility in Rivière-des-Prairies. He is kept in his cell 20 hours a day and is not allowed any contact with other inmates.
With files from Radio-Canada's Geneviève Garon, Jay Turnbull